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Reunion of the Virginia division Army of Northern Virginia Association.

The annual gathering in the State Capitol of Virginia of ‘the men who wore the gray’ has been for years an occasion of deep interest. The reunion on the 22d of October, 1885, was no exception. The Hall of the House of Delegates was crowded with fair women and brave men, and the occasion was one of deepest interest.

General W. H. F. Lee, President of the Association, called the meeting to order, and called on the Chaplain (Dr. J. William Jones), who led in prayer. General Lee introduced as orator of the evening, General D. H. Hill, in the following graceful words, which were heartily applauded:

I have the honor, ladies and gentlemen, to introduce to you as our orator of the evening one of the famous Captains of the gallant Army of Northern Virginia, whose name and fame is interwoven with its history. It is especially pleasing to Virginians to greet this distinguished soldier, not only on account of his own great merits, being known as among the bravest of its Generals, but also because he comes from our sister State of North Carolina, whose gallant sons poured out their blood so freely on Virginia's soil in defence of constitutional liberty.

General Hill was received with deafening applause, and stood for some minutes before he could proceed.

Address of General D. H. Hill.

Soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is meet and proper that the Association of the veterans of the noblest, truest and bravest army that the sun ever shone upon, should assemble in the Capital of the late Confederacy. It is eminently fitting, too, that it should meet in the Capital of Virginia, since its name and fame are inseparably associated with three illustrious Virginians. It was a Virginian who first organized it and sent it upon [260] its wonderful career of victory; it was a Virginian, who, at its head, held at bay for three years the army recruited from the four quarters of the globe, and who, with ever-decreasing forces, fought the world in arms; it was a Virginian, who, with portions of this famous army made those stealthy marches to the rear and struck those terrible blows, which so astonished the world. We remember that it was a Virginian, whose eloquence most fired the hearts of the Colonists against British aggression; that it was a Virginian, who moved in that Continental Congress for a declaration of independence; that it was a Virginian who wrote that declaration; that it was a Virginian, who led the armies of the rebellion against Great Britain; that it was a Virginian, who so expounded the principles of the Constitution as to make that instrument acceptable to the American people; that it was a Virginian who presided over the court established under that Constitution with such ability and impartiality that he is to-day regarded as the wisest, greatest and purest of the Chief Justices of the United States. We remember with great pride that one-half of the life of the nation from Washington to Lincoln—thirty-six of the seventy-two years—was passed under the administration of Virginia Presidents. We remember with reverential awe, the father of his country, the Virginia-born Washington, of whom Wellington said that he was the grandest and sublimest, and yet the plainest and simplest character in history. Concerning whom Byron made the pathetic lament that the earth had no more seed to produce another like unto him.

But, though, from the settlement at Jamestown to the present hour, proud memories and glorious traditions cluster around the beautiful women and illustrious men of Virginia, I honestly believe that the most heroic portion of her history is from 1861 to 1865, when she so grandly bared her bosom to the hostile blow, and bore with such sublime patience the desolation of her soil and the slaughter of the noblest and best of her sons. The Army of Northern Virginia! So let it be! Let the grand old State and the grand old army bear the same name, and may their fame be linked together forever and forever!

Others have spoken before your Association of the great battles and the great leaders of the civil war. Mine be the grateful task to talk of the unknown and unheralded private in the ranks. The picture of him rises before you all—the keen, patient, quizzical, devil-may-care face, the brimless slouch hat, the fragment of a coat, the ragged breeches, the raw-hide shoes, unless some lucky find on [261] the battlefield had given better foot-gear (and Johnny always was particular about his under-pinning). When he had his trusty rifle and well-filled cartridge box, he considered himself splendidly clad with half a uniform and a whole pair of shoes. He was self-reliant always, obedient when he chose to be, impatient of drill and discipline, critical of great movements and small movements, the conduct of the highest and lowest officers, from Mars Robert down to the new-fledged lieutenant. He was proud of his regiment, scornful of odds, uncomplaining of fatigue, ungrumbling at short rations, full of strange drollery and mockery at suffering.

Such was the Confederate soldier between ‘61 and ‘62, before battle and disease had swept away the flower of the Southern youth. He had the élan of the Frenchman, the rollicking humor of the Irishman, the steadfastness of the Englishman or German, and the dogged perseverance of the Scotchman. He was ready to charge a battery with the wild Rebel yell or to receive a charge with the imperturbable calmness of Wellington's veterans at Waterloo. He had the best characteristics of the best fighters of the best races of the whole earth. The independence of a country life, hunting, fishing and the mastery of slaves, gave him large individuality and immense trust in himself. Hence he was unsurpassed and unsurpassable as a scout and on the skirmish line. Of the shoulder-to-shoulder courage, born of drill and discipline, he knew nothing, and cared less. Hence, on the battlefield, he was more of a free lance than a machine. Whoever saw a Confederate line advancing that was not crooked as a ram's horn? Each ragged Rebel yelling on his own hook and aligning on himself.

But there is as much need of the machine-soldier as of the self-reliant soldier, and the concentrated blow is always the most effective blow. The erratic effort of the Confederate, grand, brilliant and heroic though it was, yet failed to achieve the maximum result, just because it was erratic. Moreover, two serious evils attended that excessive egotism and individuality, which came to the Confederate through his training, association and habits. He knew when a movement was false and a position was untenable, and he was too little of a machine to give in such cases that whole-hearted service which might have redeemed the blunder. The other evil was an ever-growing one. His disregard of discipline and independence of character made him often a straggler, and the fruit of many a victory was lost by straggling. I believe that with his exalted patriotism, his high sense of honor and his devotion to duty, the Confederate [262] soldier would have submitted to any just and reasonable discipline imposed by honest and intelligent officers.

But too many of these officers were looking for political preferment after the war to permit a uniform system of government to become practical and possible. We needed, too, what our enemies had, an old army, a body of veterans, as a model of obedience, and as a nucleus for the formation of other troops like unto themselves. We needed the camps of instruction which our enemies had, the drill masters, and the months given to training and discipline of their recruits, while ours had of necessity to be hurried to the front. The South had rushed into the war absolutely destitute of everything, save the courage of its people, which makes a military nation. We had no foundries, no machine shops, no factories, no powder mills, no roller mills, no paper mills, no means of making tents and camp equipage. The paper upon which the ordinances of secession of the respective States were written came from the North; the ink and pens with which they were written came from the North. We had no iron works for casting cannon, no gun factories for small arms, no establishments to manufacture powder, none in which to make caps for muskets and rifles. Even after the battle of Manassas the question of returning to the old flint-lock was seriously discussed. The spinningwheel and the handloom were the chief dependence for furnishing clothing to the troops. The country tan-yard and the country cobbler could alone furnish them with shoes. There was not in all the South a factory for making blankets for the soldiers, who had to endure the bitter rigors of the winter in the border States. We had no ships upon the ocean to draw supplies from abroad, while our enemies could recruit their armies and their war material from the continents of the whole globe and from the far off isles of the sea. From first to last, ours was the worst equipped, the worst fed, the worst clothed, and the worst organized army in the world; that of our enemy was the best equipped, the best organized, the best cared for, and the most pampered army of the nineteenth century. It is the grandest tribute that mortal man can pay to our soldiery to say that they knew of the tremendous difference between their condition and that of their foes, and that they were contemptuous of it. They believed that their courage, their fortitude, their patience and their devotion to duty, would more than make up for all deficiencies in organization, equipment, material and numbers. I will give some examples of these grand characteristics. On the 31st May, 1862, my division attacked the Federal division of General [263] Casey, having a pentagonal redoubt in which were ten guns. On each side of the redoubt were rifle-pits, which could only be reached by struggling through an abattis of from twenty to one hundred yards in width. Three Federal batteries in rear had a murderous fire upon the road and upon all the approaches to the works. The recent heavy rains had made the ground almost a quagmire. But on our gallant fellows went floundering through the mud and slush, wading through water three and four feet deep, scarcely able to advance, had there been no foe in front. But they were mown down at every step by cannon shot, shell, grape and canister; they were mown down by the musketry fire of men calmly awaiting them under the protection of earthworks and obstructions. On and on went those nameless heroes of unrecorded graves. The Fourth North Carolina regiment, with bloody loss, captured a section of artillery in the road and made way for Carter's battery, which came up to the relief of our struggling infantry. Now began that awful, that wonderful contest between five guns sinking almost to the axle at every fire against sixteen guns in position. It was a brief artillery duel, for Couch's division was coming up in massive columns to the aid of the sorely pressed Casey, and by my own express order, Carter turned his fire upon the approaching masses of infantry; every shell burst in the right place, every solid shot struck in the right place; the ranks broke and sought shelter in the woods on our right and in the abattis on our left. There was no farther advance by the Federals up the Williamsburg road after Carter turned his guns upon their infantry. All this time the sixteen guns were remorselessly pelting the five guns of the King William artillery, and his hitherto untried men were subjected to an ordeal which few veteran artillerists will stand, that of receiving, without returning, an artillery fire. But there was no flinching with these splendid fellows, and they kept steadily to their work on the infantry until their concealment in the brush enabled the King William boys to give tit for tat to the artillerists in blue. But relief now came to Carter's men for a time at least; the advance of our infantry drove Casey's men from the redoubt and the rifle pits, cut Couch's division in two, turned part of it off to join Sumner and sent the other part streaming to the rear. The fight began at one o'clock, and by three o'clock, my division, without any assistance whatever, had captured Casey's camp and earthworks, had taken ten pieces of artillery and two hundred prisoners, and had defeated or checked all the heavy reinforcements sent to Casey, at least two divisions of succoring forces. And now, for [264] the first time, our exhausted men got help. The Palmetto Sharpshooters, of R. H. Anderson's brigade, Longstreet's division, under Colonel Jenkins, came up. Some twenty minutes later R. H. Anderson reported to me with the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth South Carolina regiments. Jenkins had gone to my extreme left, and there the Twenty-seventh Georgia, of my division, was attached to his regiment. Jenkins and Anderson fought their way through the abattis in front of the second line of intrenchments to which the defeated had retired, captured that line and joining their forces, held a brief consultation. Anderson took the Fourth and Fifth South Carolina regiments with him, and went off to the left to sweep down the railroad, giving Jenkins the Sixth South Carolina with orders to follow up the dirt road. With these three regiments, Palmettos, Sixth South Carolina and Twenty-seventh Georgia (1,800 men in all), Jenkins began that march of victory, which has had but few parallels in history. He had to fight Heintzleman's corps, minus Berry's brigade, and such fragments of Key's corps as could be rallied. The enemy was dazed, bewildered and demoralized by Casey's defeat, so that the reinforcements did not fight as well as Casey's men had done. One of Casey's brigadiers said in his report, that he had seen Heintzleman's men break when they had hardly felt the Rebels.

Everything gave way before the three regiments and the masses of the enemy were steadily driven to the intrenched camp. At one time, Jenkins was confronted by a larger force than his own, while columns of attack were forming on each flank. He rushed at the pas de charge upon those in front, broke them, and then facing about, attacked in flank one of the columns flanking him and routed it. The other column disappeared. The pursuit ceased with darkness and Heintzleman boasted in his report that the Rebels got no further than the woods in which he and Keyes had gathered together 1,800 men. All the Federal reports speak of the overwhelming numbers of the Rebels that came upon them and lament that they had but 11,500 men to meet these fearful odds. Those words, ‘overwhelming numbers,’ applied by the Federals to every lost field, are most expressive. Johnny had a way of multiplying himself when he was in a good fighting humor and then he appeared very numerous; and when he had anything like a chance he was a very overwhelming sort of fellow.

All day Sunday and Sunday night General J. J. Peck, of the Federal army, had strong working parties strengthening the intrenched [265] camp and making it more secure for the eleven thousand five hundred men who had sought refuge there. The success of the first day was not followed up on the second day. The wounding of our illustrious commander and other causes prevented an united attack upon Sumner, which must have crushed him. There was no fighting the second day to speak of except by Pickett, who started on his own accord and stopped when he pleased, or after he had driven the enemy to the brush, as he expressed it.

Seven Pines was not altogether a barren victory. It delayed McClellan until Jackson was brought upon his flank. It gave a splendid exhibition of dash and courage, and that had a most inspiriting effect upon the subsequent campaign.

Longstreet's division lost five hundred men; mine, 2,992, out of nine thousand men engaged. The Sixth Alabama and the Fourth North Carolina lost sixty per cent. of the men brought into action. Carter's battery lost fifty-nine per cent.

I was looking at the battery and was within ten yards of it, when a shell exploded just before the muzzle of one of its pieces, and all the men at it and the horses at the limber went down before it. They seemed to me all huddled together ‘in one red burial blent.’ An officer ran up and pulled out one live man from the confused pile. Two men were killed, five wounded, and two horses were killed by that one explosion. The wounded appeared, for the time being, to be paralyzed, as only one was pulled out at first. This was the most destructive shot I had ever seen up to that time, but I afterwards saw one worse at Malvern Hill and one worse at Sharpsburg. It was the enemy's artillery in all three cases that was so deadly. This havoc in Carter's battery was in the pentagonal redoubt after its capture.

Two-thirds of the loss in Rodes's brigade was after Casey's works had been taken and his division and Couch's had been driven off. Berry's brigade, of Kearney's division, had been turned off into the slashes when Carter's fire had made a direct advance impracticable. There it was joined by one of Abercrombie's regiments, and possibly by rallied fragments of the defeated divisions, and securely sheltered behind large trees and heavy fallen timber, they kept up a murderous fire upon Rodes's men in the open field, though the advance of Anderson and Jenkins had cut them off from their comrades. These Federals escaped after nightfall by taking a circuitous path through the woods, round by Anderson's saw-mill.

It was said for a time that Casey was surprised and that his division [266] was defeated by a sudden rush of mine. His own report and the reports of all his officers show that there was nothing of the kind. He had been waiting for us for hours with his men and guns in position. The sudden rush began at one o'clock, and Casey's works were captured at three o'clock. It is a misnomer to call a deadly struggle for two hours a sudden rush. It is unjust to my division, as well as to that opposing me, to say that Casey's men fought badly. They fought better than the reinforcements sent to help them. Fowler Hamilton, a jolly dragoon officer, was asked in the Mexican war by some of the newly arrived troops, ‘Are the Mexicans brave?’ ‘They are brave enough for me,’ replied he. Casey's men were brave enough for me, and he himself was a veteran of approved courage and conduct. He seems to have been one of the very last to abandon his earthworks.

The battle of Seven Pines is a fine illustration of the prowess of untrained, untutored and undisciplined Southern soldiers. The great battles of Europe, in which veterans were engaged, show a loss of from one-tenth to one-fourth of those engaged. At Seven Pines our raw troops lost one-third of their number without flinching, moving steadily on to victory. The true test of the loss in battle is the number of casualties before the shouts of triumph rend the sky; for it has often happened that the chief loss of the defeated has been from the murderous fire upon their disorganized, unresisting, and huddled together masses. This has always been so when the defeat has been the result of a flank movement, or when a brilliant cavalry charge has followed up the rout.

But my theme deals with the individual private in the ranks and I will therefore give some personal anecdotes, which I know to be true, and are not sensational clap-trap for the occasion. After the capture of Casey's camp, one of my staff went with a litter to remove a private in the ranks, whom he had known at school. ‘No,’ said the wounded man, ‘let me alone, Ratchford, I am mortally wounded. Carry off some one who will live to fight for his country another day.’ Then waving off his comrade with a feeble effort of his poor, dying hand, he said, ‘Good-bye, Ratchford,’ while the white lips parted in a farewell smile.

The world has wondered at and has praised for two hundred and ninety-nine years the grand self-denial of the dying Sir Philip Sidney, who gave the cup of water intended for himself to the wounded soldier that was looking longingly at it and said, ‘Friend, thy wants are greater than mine.’ The world has done well to preserve this [267] sublime instance of unselfishness, but it was an unselfishness born of sympathy with present suffering appealing to him. The unselfishness of the Confederate was born of an abstract love of country looking away from the present to the future weal of our dear Southland. Who does not see that the self-denial of Private Addison Jones, of the Fifth North Carolina regiment, was of a higher and nobler type than the self-denial of the chivalric knight, the ideal hero of song and of story?

I will give some illustrations of an authentic character of the coolness and self-possession of the private in the ranks. From Colonel Sweitzer, of McClellan's Staff, I got under a flag of truce an anecdote of one of my couriers at Seven Pines. In carrying an order from me through the woods, he came unexpectedly upon a regiment, whose uniform made him feel blue. However, he kept up a bold front and asked: ‘What regiment is that?’ ‘Seventh Massachusetts,’ was the reply. ‘All right,’ said the courier, ‘the orders are to hold your position at all hazards.’ Then he turned off into the woods before the blue-coats recovered their surprise sufficiently to give a harmless volley after him. I may not have right the name of the Federal regiment, but by inquiry I found out that of the courier; for, modest as brave, he had not boasted of his adventure. He was Hector Bowden, of Loudoun county, Virginia. Poor fellow! his was a sad fate, for on a secret visit to his parents, he was murdered by the Tories of Means's gang.

One other incident of the same kind. After the defeat of Porter at Cold Harbor, and while his men were huddled together in a confused mass in the woods after dark, they were told to encourage them, that Richmond had been captured and forthwith began to cheer vociferously. One of my couriers thinking that cheering could only come from victors, rode in among them and was greeted with the question: ‘Have we got Richmond?’ ‘Yes;’ answered he, ‘we have got Richmond,’ and escaped under cover of their shouts and rejoicing. That courier was John Chamblin and Richmond has got him, if he has not got Richmond.

An anecdote showing the kind of wit, which characterized the rollicking, careless, undisciplined boys of 1861, may not be out of place here. The story has been often told and many regiments have been credited with it. But I know the very time and the very regiment to which the anecdote belongs. At Yorktown, a colonel called out his regiment, formed it in line and began to scold the men savagely for some breach of discipline. In the midst of his vituperation [268] a donkey began an unmerciful bray, when a unanimous shout came up from the impenitent and sorrowless gray-coats, ‘Hold on, Colonel, one at a time, one at a time.’ There is a delicacy of insinuation about this reply, which makes it unsurpassed and unsurpassable. No! I was not that colonel, though I could tell of as grievous a mishap to myself did not modesty forbid. I will tell rather of some other glorious exploits of the ragged Rebels.

At Boonsboro, or South Mountain, my division, reduced to five thousand men by battle, disease, hard marching and want of shoes, was called upon to confront McClellan's army and to hold Turner's Gap against two corps of that army, while two other corps were in supporting distance. The immense wagon-yard and parks of reserve artillery of Lee's whole army were at the foot of the mountain on the west side. General Lee himself, with Longstreet's command, was at Hagerstown, thirteen miles off. A thin curtain of men extending for miles along the crests of the mountains on that bright Sabbath day in September, was all we had to check a vast, perfectly organized and magnificently equipped army. There was nothing else to save our trains and artillery; there was nothing else to prevent McClellan from cutting in between Lee and Jackson; there was nothing else to save Longstreet's corps from irretrievable ruin. That thin curtain once broken, the enemy would have full possession of all our supply trains and supplies—ordnance, commissary and quartermaster stores; worse still, the two wings of Lee's army would have been riven asunder, never to be reunited. But there were giants in those days of 1862, and the haggard, weary, worn-out private in the ranks was a hero in his own right, and capable of multiplying himself into overwhelming numbers. From 9 A. M. till 3 1/2 P. M. two brigades and three regiments held at bay Reno's corps (said officially to be fifteen thousand strong), which attacked on our right, moving on the old Braddock road. Then three very small brigades of Longstreet's command, in an exhausted condition from their hot and hurried march, came to our assistance. With their aid the crests of the mountain and the road were held. Reno was killed at nightfall in Wise's field, where the fight began in the morning, and within fifty yards of where our beloved Garland fell.

But on our left a commanding hill was lost before sundown. All the fighting before five o'clock was on our right, and the first reinforcements from Longstreet were turned off in that direction where the enemy advanced very cautiously, because advancing in the woods and constantly apprehensive of surprise from overwhelming numbers. [269] In fact, the whole battle on the right and left was one of self-imposed illusions on the part of the Federals. McClellan had come into possession at Frederick of a copy of Lee's order directing Jackson to attack Harpers Ferry, and Longstreet and myself to proceed to Boonsboro. The copy found was the one directed to me, though I must disclaim here, as ever before, that I was the loser of it. According to this order, Longstreet was at Boonsboro, and not Hagerstown, on the morning of the 14th, and McClellan's people believed that the whole mountain was swarming with Rebels.

It is a curious fact that the map of this battle, prepared by the United States Bureau of Topographical Engineers in 1872, ten years after the battle, represents ten regiments and one battalion under Longstreet at the foot of the mountain, on the north side of turnpike and east side of the mountain. This, on the morning of the 14th September, before the fighting began. Longstreet did not have a man there at any time, and not one any where on the mountain till 3 1/2 P. M. I had forty men at the foot of the mountain on north side of the pike after three o'clock, but not a man before that time. These forty men were under command of Captain R. E. Park, of the Twelfth Alabama, now living in Macon, Georgia. To have produced the impression that there were ten regiments and one battalion here, these forty men must have been uncommonly frisky, and they must have multiplied themselves astonishingly, but unfortunately for us, not in overwhelming numbers. Burnside tells us that he sent two peremptory orders to Fighting Joe Hooker before he would move forward his corps. From the foot of the mountain Fighting Joe watched the magnificent advance of the divisions of Meade and Hatch, followed by the division of Ricketts. The previous fighting had drawn all our men, except Rodes's brigade, to the south side of the pike, and it was posted on the commanding point of which I have spoken. Meade took his division, with the true instincts of the soldier, to the peak held by Rodes with 1,200 men. So resolutely was Meade met that he sent for Duryea's brigade, of Ricketts's division. Longstreet's broken down men were still arriving, and four hundred under Colonel Stevens went to the help of Rodes, and were in time to save him from being surrounded, but their combined effort could not save the peak, and the key of our position was lost. The steady advance of the other Federal divisions drove back by nightfall the remainder of Longstreet's forces on the left of the pike to the very crest of the mountain. But the pike itself was still held, and the effort of the Federals to move up it met with a bloody repulse. So the retreat [270] was effected without difficulty and without pursuit. The trains and artillery were saved, and the two wings of Lee's army were united at Sharpsburg.

There had been much straggling of Longstreet's men on that hot and dusty march from Hagerstown. Garnett estimates that in marching and countermarching, his brigade passed over twenty-two or twenty-three miles. The reports are very meagre as to the numbers that were brought into action at South Mountain. We must judge of the whole from the few authentic estimates that are given. The Seventeenth South Carolina reports 141 men in the fight; the First South Carolina 106 men; the Seventeenth Virginia 55 officers and men; the Nineteenth Virginia 150 men; the Eighteenth Virginia 120 men; the Fiftieth Virginia 80 men; the Eighth Virginia 34 men. Longstreet admits now that his reinforcements did not exceed four thousand men. I think that estimate very high. But admitting this number, and that it was equally divided on the two sides of the pike, then Fighting Joe Hooker was contending with fifteen thousand men against 3,200 men, more than half of them in a broken down condition. However, his powerful field glass gave Fighting Joe a good view of the battle, and he felt proud, as well he might, of the steady and gallant advance of his three divisions. He says in his report: ‘When the advantages of the enemy's position are considered and his preponderating numbers, the forcing of the passage of South Mountain will be classed among the most brilliant and satisfactory achievements of this army, and its principal glory will be awarded to the First Corps.’ The reader will please remember that the First Corps was ‘Fighting Joe's’ corps. However, I am thankful to Fighting Joe for saying preponderating numbers, and not overwhelming numbers.

The advantages of the position were with the attack, and not the defence, as any practical soldier will say, who will carefully examine the ground.

General McClellan said officially: ‘The force opposed to me was D. H. Hill's division (15,000 men), and a part, if not the whole of Longstreet's, and, perhaps, a portion of Jackson's. Probably thirty thousand in all.’ It is always safe to give a divisor of three to any estimate made by General McClellan of the forces of his enemy. The General puts his attacking force in the two corps at thirty thousand. On the 14th September, 1862, I would have given that number a multiplier of two. An attacking column is apt to take on the appearance of overwhelming numbers. [271]

South Mountain was heralded abroad by our antagonists as a great victory. Favors of that sort had been few and far between, and this seemed to call for special gratulation and congratulation. Mr. Lincoln telegraphed the next day to General McClellan: ‘God bless you and all with you. Destroy the Rebel army, if possible.’ This is a model dispatch, and is a beautiful illustration of the meaning of St. James in the tenth verse of the third chapter of his epistle, which you can read when you go home.

But Sharpsburg affords, as I think, the best illustration of the pluck, dash and stubborn fighting of the privates in the ranks. Lee's army was never so small. It had fought McClellan from Richmond to Harrison's Landing on James River. It had fought Pope from the Rappahannock to the Potomac. It had given a new experience to this young warrior, who, like Lockinvar had come gaily out of the West and had only seen the backs of his enemies, and had there learned to scorn all thoughts of lines of retreat. I suspect that the young man did not personally gain any more knowledge in the East than he had done in the West about the faces of his foes, but the people he had about him did see those faces, and before he vanished amid the storm he left behind him this military maxim ‘for a line of retreat, the short cut is the safe cut.’

The campaigns against McClellan and Pope had greatly reduced Lee's army. The order issued on crossing the Potomac excusing all barefooted men from marching had reduced it still more. So, at Sharpsburg, General Lee had only the hardiest, strongest and bravest of his Rebel boys, The straggling had been enormous. The chaff had been blown off and only the sound, solid wheat had been left.

General McClellan estimates Lee's army at Sharpsburg at 97,445. These numbers, he says, he got from General Banks, who had them from ‘prisoners, deserters and spies.’ The precision of this calculation strikes me as most admirable, 97,445, no more, no less. It was not a guess. Oh, no! General Lee's guess of the strength of his own army would have fallen short of this by more than 60,000. No, it was not a guess. It was obtained from ‘prisoners, deserters and spies.’ These generally count in round numbers, but on this occasion were minutely accurate. Why not 97,000 dry so? Why not 97,400? Why not 97,440? Who figured out the last five? I surmise that ‘the intelligent contraband’ is responsible for this astonishing precision. The added five helped to swell up ‘the overwhelming numbers.’ It could not, would not, should not be omitted.

General McClellan puts his own forces at 87,164. He, too, must [272] have been troubled with enormous straggling. For we find on page 98, Volume XIII, Records of the Rebellion, a statement from Quartermaster-General Rufus Ingalls, that he had furnished transportation for 190,185 officers and men of McClellan's army. This statement was made on the 1st day of October, 1862, fourteen days after the battle of Sharpsburg and the wastage of that battle is not in the estimate. If we put McClellan's casualties at 12,000 in the battle, he must have had 202, 185 on his rolls on the morning of Sharpsburg. For the same record shows a complaint from him that he had not received any reinforcements after the battle. If then there were but 87,164 at Sharpsburg, there were 105,021 elsewhere.

I have always contended that General Lee had less than 27,000 infantry and artillery in the battle of Sharpsburg. He crossed the Potomac with nine divisions. As mine had not been in the Pope campaign and had therefore suffered less than the other eight from battle, disease and fatigue, I supposed it to be one of the very largest, and yet it had but little over 3,000 men in it at Sharpsburg. As nine times 3,000 gives 27,000, I thought that 27,000 was the maximum number in Lee's army. Dr. Dabney, a very careful statistician, puts Lee's strength at 33,000 including the cavalry. My estimate, which I have had to reduce, was of infantry and artillery alone.

On page 813 of this Volume XIII, I find Lee's losses in killed and wounded in the Maryland campaign to have been 10,291, of which, my division is credited with 2,902 or 28.19 per cent. of the whole. It is not reasonable to suppose that this division should sustain more than one-fourth of the entire loss of the army, if its strength was not greater than one-ninth of the whole. It is true that the loss at South Mountain fell largely upon my division, but the loss there was probably as great in prisoners as in killed and wounded, and the 10,291 loss is in killed and wounded only. So I had two reasons for believing that my division was the largest of the nine at Sharpsburg, and that therefore Lee's infantry and artillery did not come up to 27,000.

But the result can be reached in other ways, for though the reports are most meagre on the Southern side, we still have data enough to make an estimate different from that of the prisoners, deserters and spies, whom General Banks saw.

General Lee crossed the Potomac with nine divisions, forty brigades, one hundred and sixty-six regiments and nine battalions of infantry. Three divisions were made out of two, so that at Sharpsburg, he had [273] ten divisions without having more brigades and regiments. We have reports from five of these divisions:

Early's division, 4 brigades, 3,500 men; D. R. Jones's division, 6 brigades, 2,430 men; A. P. Hill's division, 6 brigades, 3,524 men; McLaws's division, 5 brigades, 2,832 men; D. H. Hill's division, 5 brigades, 3,008 men; total, 15,294 men.

From this number in twenty-six brigades of the forty in Lee's army, the single rule of three will give us 23,523 men as Lee's strength in infantry and artillery at the battle of Sharpsburg. This is, of course, on the supposition that the ratio in the twenty-six brigades was the same for the other twenty-four. Let us examine this by the light from the reports of the brigades themselves, so far as they are given:

Robert Ransom's, 1,600; Lawton's, 1,150; Wofford's, 854; Rodes's, 800; Barksdale, 800; Walker, 700; Trimble, 700; Hays, 550; Benning, 400; Cobb, 250; Stonewall, 250; Evans, 209; Kemper, 350; Garnett, 200; total, 8,813.

The single rule of three gives the strength of the forty brigades on the ratio of these fourteen, to be 25, 180. So the approximate results reached from the reports of division and brigade commanders differ only by 1,557 men.

Now let us see what estimate we can get from the reports of regimental commanders, so far as given in this same Volume XIII. We have:

Eleventh Georgia regiment, 140; Eighteenth Georgia regiment, 176; Fifty-third Georgia regiment, 276; Fiftieth Georgia regiment, 100; Tenth Georgia regiment, 134; Second and Twentieth Georgia regiments, 400; First Texas regiment, 226; Sixteenth Mississippi regiment, 228; First South Carolina regiment, 106; Seventh South Carolina regiment, 268; Seventeenth South Carolina regiment, 59; Hampton Legion, 77; Nineteenth Virginia regiment, 150; Eighteenth Virginia regiment, 120; Fifty-sixth Virginia regiment, 80; Seventeenth Virginia regiment, 55; Eighth Virginia regiment, 34—total, 2,629.

General Lee had one hundred and sixty-six regiments, and nine battalions of infantry at Sharpsburg, say in round numbers, one hundred and seventy regiments of infantry. From the ratio of the eighteen regiments just given, we have for the whole one hundred and seventy regiments, 24,829. This differs from the estimate by brigades only by two hundred and fifty-one men. If we put our artillery at two thousand, we will have Lee's strength at Sharpsburg about 27,000. This estimate has been arrived at by four independent [274] calculations—1st. The strength and loss in my own division; 2d. The strength of the five divisions reported; 3d. The strength of fourteen brigades, including largest and smallest; 4th. The strength of eighteen regiments, including largest and smallest. Taking General McClellan's own estimate of his forces, 87,64, the boys in gray were outnumbered by sixty thousand. Not one of you who were on that terrible field will think even now, when calmly reviewing the awful scenes of that bloody day, that the odds against us was less than three to one. Who did not see again and again a thin Rebel line, scarcely a skirmish line, attack three heavy lines of battle with the utmost confidence, and come back again looking puzzled because the other fellows did not run? I will attempt no description of the wonderful deeds of valor performed by the hungry, ragged and broken down Rebels. Your own Patrick Henry could not do justice to it; my poor, stammering tongue would fall infinitely short of it. I have seen a plucky little bee martin hover over, swoop down upon and peck at the ferocious hawk, and I have seen the grotesque movements of the great hulking bird to avoid the tiny beak of its tormentor. These old eyes of mine have watched that battle in the air, and these old eyes of mine looked upon the battle by the Antietam.

It is to the glory of Virginia that more than one-fourth of the infantry regiments, and about one-fourth of batteries actually engaged at Sharpsburg belonged to the Old Dominion. The best handling of artillery which I saw during the war was there, always excepting the King William battery at Seven Pines. That irrepressible and ubiquitous battery was at Sharpsburg also. I said in my official report, and I have said hundreds of time since, that this battery contributed largely to the defeat of Burnside's attack on our right and rear.

What shall I say of that wonderful campaign from the Wilderness to Petersburg, in which Lee's army killed and wounded more of their enemies than they had men in their own ranks? What shall I say of the ten months in the trenches, under a constant rain of shot and shell, endured by these privates in the ranks half fed, half clothed, destitute of all the usual appliances for a defensive siege; stifled at one time with heat and at another frozen with cold; fighting against ever-increasing odds—three times, five times, ten times, twenty times their own number—confronting in their want and misery the sleek soldiers of the most pampered army on the globe, luxurious in its comforts, magnificent in its appointments, and invincible in its serried masses? But [275] those, our Confederates in the ranks fought on, suffered on, endured on, with no expectation of promotion or preferment; with no hope of ultimate success, each knowing surely that the end must be, at best, life and unrecognized prowess; at worst, death and an unknown grave. We talk of the sufferings at Valley Forge, and the American people should hold them in everlasting remembrance. But what were the sufferings of Washington's men in comparison with the sufferings of Lee's men? Yes, I feel that it is presumptuous in me to try to eulogize with words these martyrs without hope of reward or success—the Confederate soldiers in the ranks; but I yield to no man in my love, respect, and reverence for them.

And what shall be said of those unselfish patriots who were true to their colors to the last, when the ravages of armies had desolated their country, and the torches of bummers had left blackened chimneys as monuments over the buried treasures of a husband's and father's love? How can we sufficiently honor these men, who, knowing that their families, without food and without shelter, were starving to death or were living on the offal of the enemy's camps, who, knowing even this, yet still answered to roll call, yet still filled their places in the ranks, yet still faced death again and again, putting duty to country above duty to wife and children? Aye, how many of these poured out their heart's blood in that last despairing struggle, leaving those they loved more than life to the cold charities of a forgetful world? Hard must be the heart of that foeman which does not warm with a generous glow at this simple tale of sublime devotion to principle. And how should this story affect us, their comrades in danger and their partners in the same buoyant hopes and the same deep despair? May my arm be palsied by my side when it ceases to hold up the banner inscribed all over with their glorious deeds. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth when it ceases to pronounce the praises of such matchless courage, unrivalled fortitude, and unselfish patriotism.

God bless the privates in the ranks now and forevermore!

Having an unwavering faith in the wisdom, justice, and mercy of God, I bow with adoring reverence to his decree which destroyed our hopes of Southern independence. I would not reverse His decree if I could do so. That would be wicked and presumptuous. All honorable Confederates render the truest allegiance to the obligations imposed upon them by the surrender. I believe that the most uncompromising rebels, yea, the bitterest rebels, if you choose to call them so, would be the very first to rally round the old flag in any just and honorable [276] war. They have expressed the sincerest sympathy with the sufferings and misfortunes of illustrious foemen. They have rejoiced at the brilliant successes of many of their late antagonists, and they have contributed to those successes. But no generous conqueror wishes the conquered to forget their old ties and their old loves. No generous conqueror wishes us to disparage the grand heroism and the unparalleled constancy of the Confederates in the ranks. No generous conqueror expects us to underrate the ability of our great leaders because they were defeated, and unfairly fail to take into consideration that their defeat was due to overwhelming numbers. Every schoolboy knows of Thermopylae, and of Leonidas, defeated and slain; but who of you can tell the name of the victorious Persian commander of the Dori-Phori, who attacked him in front? Who of you remembers the name of the commander of the so-called Immortal Band which, having gone through a secret defile, attacked him successfully in rear?

The historian of the present looks only at victory and defeat. The historian of the past looks at all the surroundings. But even now we of the present, who have seen the great movements of our wonderful leaders, can look at those surroundings. Every one with Southern blood in his veins places in the front rank of the world's great commanders, the two modest men who sleep so quietly and so unostentatiously at Lexington, Virginia. Every one with Southern blood in his veins cherishes in his inmost soul the memory of their great deeds as a precious legacy to the land they loved so well.

General Hill was vociferously applauded as he took his seat, and was warmly congratulated on his speech.

General Early was loudly called for, but excused himself from responding, except to remind his friend, General Hill, that the Federal estimate of the Confederate strength at Sharpsburg was made by General Banks, who always saw the ‘rebels’ through a powerful magnifying glass whenever ‘StonewallJackson was about.

In response to calls, General W. B. Taliaferro made a brief and stirring speech, which was loudly applauded.

The officers of last year insisted upon a change, and a committee consisting of Captain C. A. Bohannon, General William McComb, and N. V. Randolph reported the following who were unanimously elected:

For President: Major-General William B. Taliaferro.

Vice-Presidents: Major-General William Smith, Colonel Charles [277] Marshall, Colonel James H. Skinner, Captain P. W. McKinney, Brigadier-General Thomas T. Munford.

Executive Committee: Colonel William H. Palmer, Colonel Archer Anderson, Sergeant George L. Christian, Major T. A. Brander, Sergeant John S. Ellett.

Treasurer: Private R. S. Bosher.

Secretary: Private Carlton McCarthy.

General W. H. F. Lee, the retiring president, was heartily thanked for the ability with which he had presided and the energy he had displayed in the management of the affairs of the Association.

On motion of General Early, Misses Mary and Mildred Lee, Mrs. Thomas J. Jackson and her daughter, and Mrs. J. E. B. Stuart and her daughter were unanimously and enthusiastically elected honorary members of the Association, and the Secretary was directed to send them badges.

The banquet.

After the exercises in the hall the Association and the invited guests repaired to Saenger Hall, where an elegant banquet was spread and the good things heartily enjoyed.

General Taliaferro presided, and Judge George L. Christian acted as toast-master and read the toasts. The regular toasts and the respondents were as follows:

The Infantry:

If ever a band of warriors won
A paean for deeds of valor done,
They deserve, indeed, the glorious meed
And the proud triumphal hymn.

General William McComb.

The Cavalry:

As went the knight with sword and shield
To tournay or to battle-field,
They offered at their country's call
Their lives, their fortunes, and their all.

General T. T. Munford.

The Artillery: The voice from the mouths of their pieces sent dismay into the ranks of the enemy.

Judge William I. Clopton. [278]

The Staff of Our Armies: The nerves which contributed to the genius of our great commanders, and through which their inspiration was conducted to their troops.

Colonel Archer Anderson.

The Armies of the West: The heroes of Corinth, Chickamauga, and Mobile are worthy comrades of those of Manassas, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness, and will ever greet each other as brethren.

General D. H. Maury.

The Women of the South:

Land of heroes, your endurance through the strife transcendent shines;
Born of sunlight, 'mid the tempest stood ye firm as mountain pines.

Dr. Thomas J. Moore.

The Dead:

Their dust sleeps well in the land of their choice,
     Their names in song and story;
And fame shall shout with immortal voice,
     Dead on the field of glory.

Hon. D. B. Lucas, of Jefferson county, West Virginia, whose exquisite poem, ‘The Land Where we were Dreaming,’ has touched so many hearts, responded to the last toast in a speech which elicited loud applause. There has been so strong a demand for its publication that we are glad to give it in full.

Speech of Hon. D. B. Lucas.

In responding to the sentiment now proposed to the memory of the dead of the Army of Northern Virginia, I feel and appreciate both the difficulty and the sacred character of the melancholy duty which has been assigned me.

What can I say which shall exaggerate the debt of gratitude or lighten the burden of regret which we owe to the brave soldiers who, by their courage, illumined the most brilliant page of military history, and by their unselfish devotion sanctified the sternest lessons of civil and institutional disaster?

The formation of this Association was but the outgrowth of a sense of duty to the sentiments which cluster around our dead. [279]

To preserve in some permanent form the original and authentic evidence of what these men achieved was a high and sacred duty which we owed not to them only, but to ourselves and to our children.

For no more melancholy sight can meet the eye of the patriot than to see a teacher in our public schools engaged in teaching the children of these dumb and silent martyrs that their fathers died under some manner of cloud, or that they needed some sort of pardon, other than the free grace of the everlasting God whom they served. Neither can there be any moral or national necessity that the first axiom of mathematics, which is that the sum of all the parts is only equal to, and cannot exceed, the whole, should be untaught in the vain effort to prove that when an aggregate of twenty-seven hundred thousand Federal soldiers engaged six hundred thousand Confederates, the latter in every separate engagement, from Manassas to the Wilderness, outnumbered their Federal antagonists.

No; thank God, the first duty which we owe to these dead heroes is the same which we owe to truth. The simplest form of annals, unadorned by political disquisition, as unwarped as mathematics and impartial as a sun-dial, would embody all that we should need to excite our just pride in their almost superhuman achievements; all that our children need to keep alive the flame of patriotism or the love of glory. They do not need any depreciation of their adversaries, nor, as Chief-Justice Chase expressed it, any detraction from ‘the heroism of our countrymen who fell upon the other side.’ This unreasonable, not to say unholy sentiment, that to do justice to one side implies detraction from the other, should be given over to the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals with which we amuse ourselves in political harangues or popular assemblies. But here, as it were in the presence of our dead, we can do most honor to them, while at the same time we do full justice to the motives and courage of those who confronted them.

We can divest ourselves of every suspicion of clap-trap, and, standing face to face with our dead, say, in all clearness of conscience, that having accepted the umpirage of the sword we have also accepted its award, and mean to abide by it. This much for the outcome or actual result.

But may God do so to us and more, if ever we fail when occasion demands the expression of conviction, to assert the simple truth, that these dear, darling dead were right; that on the plane of clear reason, [280] they were most sternly logical; that as patriots, they had no superiors; and as soldiers, they have had no equals.

This is our conviction, that these men ventured all for self government and died in a righteous and holy cause.

Now, as for their achievements. They were matched against as brave soldiers as the world had produced, in love with a sentiment— the Union. They were outnumbered in the aggregate as six to twenty-seven, or more than four to one. In population, their section (excluding slaves) was as seven to twenty-two, or less than one to three. And yet they carried on the points of their bayonets their cause for four long years, and in the end yielded to famine and an exhausted treasury, rather than to military necessity.

We cannot evade history. We may for a time startle her from her propriety, but she will in the end regain her equipoise.

I have already remarked upon the absurd paradox presented in our school histories, namely, that while in the aggregate the Federal army numbered over twenty-seven hundred thousand and the Confederate but a little over six hundred thousand, yet, in the separate decisive battles of the war, the forces engaged were nearly equal. What surpassing generalship! What matchless strategic skill, which, with an average disparity of more than four to one, yet, on every critical plain, could oppose an equal number to their adversaries! But we can not suffer the prowess of these private soldiers, so justly extolled to-night by one of their most brilliant captains, to be disparaged, even to increase the fame of their immortal leaders. Let the plain story be told, though our Peter Parley histories and Mother Goose biographies should have to be relegated to the regions of romance where they rightfully belong. Let us frankly acknowledge that from first to last, on every important field from Manassas to Appomattox, the Army of the Potomac, composed of brave, enthusiastic, and well-equipped soldiers, outnumbered the Army of Northern Virginia by an average of more than two to one; that for the first two years, the latter were mainly armed and clothed by captures from the opposing forces; that they never hesitated when ordered to attack a superior force and seldom failed to gain the advantage; that they took more prisoners than they lost by capture; that they killed more than they lost in battle, and that in one important campaign they destroyed more of the enemy by ten thousand than the actual count of their own whole army.

I have compiled a table founded on the most reliable authorities [281] exhibiting the comparative numbers and losses of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia in the more important engagements of the last two years of the war:

Richmond—Seven Days105,00030,00080,00019,543
Second Manassas60,00030,00049,0009,112
Gettysburg 101,00024,00059,00019,000

These figures are monumental. They constitute a monument to the Army of Northern Virginia as much superior to brass or stone as spirit is to matter or reason is to sense.

Yet, while these figures are conceded, their significance is met and their force evaded by an assumption that these soldiers lacked endurance and fortitude and a contrast is attempted to be drawn between their brilliant dash and the more steady and enduring valor of the Northern troops.

If this charge—a lack of fortitude—could be sustained, it would detract much from the character of the Southern soldier, for, as Napoleon said: ‘The first qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation; courage is only the second.’

Let us submit this question to the test of admitted facts, and see if the charge be just. Let us take the matter of equipment. Let us compare that of General McClellan before Richmond with that of General Johnston in the Summer of 1862. The Prince de Joinville, who accompanied McClellan, says that ‘But for the lack of women, their army might have been mistaken for an armed emigration, rather than a march of soldiers,’ so thorough and elaborate was the equipment. The Confederates, on the other hand, had soiled and [282] ragged uniforms, worn-out shoes, dilapidated tents, old-fashioned arms, and scanty fare. Yet this same ragged, illy-equipped army, without any new sources of supply or recruitment held on for two years longer, defeating Pope at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas, driving back Burnside at Fredericksburg, routing Hooker at Chancellorsville, and, finally, when reduced to fifty-nine thousand, hurling themselves with incredible valor against a newly equipped army of one hundred and one thousand on the heights of Gettysburg. If these achievements did not require and avouch the power to bear fatigue and privation, then must we acknowledge that the Army of Northern Virginia lacked fortitude and was not equal to the Napoleonic test already quoted. If, on the other hand, these undisputed facts are to be given their full force and significance, let us do the Great Army justice and say that they lacked nothing which is requisite to the true soldier: discipline, enthusiasm, love of country, courage, and fortitude under privation in the highest degree were all theirs.

Take again the career of Stonewall Jackson's command in the same summer of 1862, as an illustration of the endurance of the Army of Northern Virginia in encountering fatigue. Let us commence at Kernstown. At this point Jackson attacked seven thousand with twenty-seven hundred, and desired to court-martial General Garnett, who held the center, for retreating before four times his number, after his ammunition was exhausted.

Afterwards, in the next forty days, with an average force of fifteen thousand men, he amused himself (as the Prince de Joinville expresses it) by baffling and in four pitched battles, defeating as many successive generals; he marched his troops four hundred miles, captured thirty-five hundred prisoners of war, together with vast military stores and supplies, and kept employed against him, paralyzing in and around Washington, eighty thousand men.

In advance and retreat he double-quicked the soldiers of the Shenandoah Valley through their native villages, amid waving of handkerchiefs and salutations of wives, children, sisters, and sweethearts without breaking ranks.

These men were called ‘Jackson's foot-cavalry’ because one soldier covered as much ground and bore as much fatigue as is ordinarily demanded of a soldier and a horse. They were the Centaurs of modern warfare.

After the campaign in the Valley these same men left Mount Meridian, which is not far from Staunton, on the 17th of June, 1862, [283] and marched direct to Richmond, engaging in the battle at Mechanicsville on the 26th, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, and without taking time to rest or recruit, except on the intervening Sabbath, which was spent in rest and worship.

But why do I recount these instances of fortitude and endurance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia before men, many of whom were participants in these heroic struggles, and all of whom are familiar with their history?

Not only did the Army of Northern Virginia excel in that highest attribute of a soldier, fortitude, but their love of country was unsurpassed. For the last two years of the war they served, practically, without pay. Nominally the private soldier received thirteen dollars per month, but it was paid in Confederate currency. I have made a careful estimate of the value of these wages, reduced to the gold standard for the forty-eight months of the war, and I find that the average pay of the Confederate soldier, reduced to gold, was less than thirty-five cents per month.

No hirelings these, but patriots, whose services were inspired only by a sense of duty, and rewarded only by the gratitude of their countrymen.

Of the military leaders, our dead officers who commanded these men, I cannot consume your time to speak. They came from every Southern State, and now sleep in the bosom of Virginia—Lee and Jackson, and Bee, and Pelham, and Winder, and Whiting, and Wheat, and many others now imperishably linked in fame with the story of the Great Struggle.

Napoleon, though great in victory, did not bear irredeemable defeat with the fortitude which the world had a right to expect; while Washington, being victorious, left his composure in final disaster only to be conjectured from his magnanimity in ultimate success. But General Lee demonstrated by the reluctance with which he took up arms, and the brilliancy with which he bore them; by his moderation in victory and the unsurpassed nobility of his bearing in defeat; by his great achievements in war and his dignified devotion to the most ennobling arts of peace, that he possessed all the rare elements of moral and intellectual greatness, which, by their combination, conspire to form the noblest specimens of our race—

A combination and a form indeed,
Where every god did seem to set his seal,
To give the world assurance of a man!


When General Lee announced to the Army of Northern Virginia the death of General Jackson, he hit upon the two great qualities of the soldier which distinguished, with most peculiar emphasis, the dead captain—courage and confidence in God. ‘We feel,’ said General Lee, ‘that his spirit still lives, and will inspire the whole army with his indomitable courage and unshaken confidence in God, as our hope and strength.’

‘A great captain,’ said Napoleon, ‘supplies all deficiencies by his courage.’ It was this courageous self-confidence, inspired by a higher confidence in God, which distinguished General Jackson.

But he was not more self-confident than modest. It is related that when General Lee's note of condolence, telling him that for the good of the country he had preferred being wounded himself was read to him, he exclaimed, ‘Better ten Jacksons than one Lee!’

Thus did these two great compeers vie in modesty, and unselfish admiration, each of the other. Two twin giants, to whom Virginia, a second Ilia, pregnant by Mars, had given birth; and who, though they failed to found an Empire, as did Romulus and Remus, will yet shine like Castor and Pollux as bright constellations in the firmament of history; but with this difference, that while the Sons of Ledd illumine the sky but one at a time, our Twins, sons of Virginia, transfixed, shining together, shall cosparkle in one equal splendor throughout all coming ages. These dead—these darling dead—they have not died in vain!

Not in vain, my countrymen, their courage and achievement; not in vain their highest virtue of fatigue-enduring fortitude; not in vain their unbought and unpaid services in the field; not in vain did the fathers die unbountied, as their children live unpensioned; not in vain did they walk through the tragedy of war, or do they now lie down in the dull pantomine of death; their deeds were not in vain, because we who survive shall teach them to our children, and thus preserve a heroic race of men capable of such self sacrifices as these men made, and equal to such heroism as may serve, when lapsed from virtue, ‘to recall us to ourselves, and join us to the eternal gods!’

The speeches were enthusiastically received, and the occasion one of great interest and pleasure.

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